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Student Recording Competition Finalist and Award Winner: Brian Parsons

We are happy to post some interviews with the student recording competition winners of the AES133 in San Fransico. Congratulations again!

silver award winner of category 4 (audio for visual media): Brian Parsons


SDA: Tell us a little bit about you.

Brian: I'm from Martinez CA and am a former power lifter. I have been into audio my entire life, from being a guitarist, pianist and sax player. I had a pretty bad injury during a power lifting session which caused me to cool down with my power lifting dreams and led me to delve even deeper into my passion for audio. I started attending Utah Valley University in 2009 and have excelled well in my Audio Production program! My original plan was to be a composer, but during a project I was asked to sound design and immediately fell in love with sound designing/post mixing!

SDA: Tell us about the production of your competition entry. How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? Stories? Inspirations?

Brian: The Lizard and The Ladder project was my first entry and 5.1 surround mix. Among being a full time student and having 2 part time jobs, it took me about 2.5 months total to complete the project. All the ambient sound was recorded in surround in Utah, and the music was an original score by Ryan Shupe from Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband! The one story or challenge I faced is driving all the way to the top of Squaw Peak (one of Utah's gorgeous mountain ranges) to get unpolluted critter and bug sounds!

SDA: What initiated your passion for audio?

Brian: My Grandparents owned Parsons Music store on Willow Pass Rd. in Concord CA back in the 70's & 80's and my family lived in the back of the store. So while most kids had toys to play with, I had drums, guitars and other instruments to enjoy. My father also played guitar back then and still does today. He was  guitar instructor at Brigham Young University back in the 70's. I attribute my love for audio to my rich musical background along with receiving one of the first Playskool tape recorders when I was about 5. I just loved speeding up and slowing down my voice. It served as a great tool to record my mom scolding me then playing that back to her only to make her laugh and get me out of punishments! 

SDA: How did the AES help you on your way of being a successful audio engineer?

Brian: The tips, tricks and feedback I got at my first AES conference this fall were invaluable. It was great meeting and hearing from the very professionals with whom we try to aspire to be like.

SDA: What are your highlights of the AES133 in San Francisco?

Brian: The mere fact that Richard King, Shawn Murphy, and Lora Hirschberg heard my work and approved of it with critiques was absolutely fantastic and humbling! 

SDA: What was your funniest experience as an engineer so far?

Brian: Probably when I was recording ambience for The Lizard & The Ladder, I used a Holophone and had it cranked pretty high. I was in the  mountains gathering critter sounds and could hear couples talking about couple things halfway up the trail which is about 1/2 mile up. I got a good chuckle out of the things I heard them talking the way these are (BYU Mormon couples)!

SDA: What is the best recording of all time?

Brian: My favorite recording ever would have to be Boston's Greatest Hits and film Lord of the Rings Trilogy in surround sound!

SDA:Do you play any instruments?

Brian: Yes I play Guitar, Piano, and Alto Sax. It's been awhile...rusty on the Sax :) 

SDA: Any other hobbies?

Brian: I still lift to maintain strength, but go easy on the power lifting...I enjoy spending time with my wife!

SDA: Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Brian: I want to be working in sound for big picture. I want to be working Skywalker Sound!



Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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